As spring turns to summer, college life changes for everyone. NARP’s (Non-athletic regular people) enjoy summer jobs, vacations, and parties, while college athletes focus on their upcoming season. During the summer months, athletes must train hard and stay disciplined without their coach's watchful eye. This post will explore how athletes spend their summers, including workouts, mental preparation, and more.
College volleyball players must train their bodies using a mix of HIIT workouts, weight lifting, plyometrics, running, and jump rope over the summer to improve their overall physical fitness, endurance, strength, speed, and agility. This training will help prevent injuries and enhance athletic performance during the competitive fall season. Additionally, it helps build mental toughness and discipline, as well as establish healthy habits that will ideally carry over to the fall.
As a coach, when a player is disciplined and diligent all summer long with workouts, it shows me that they are committed to their improvement and and are willing to put in the effort and sacrifice necessary to be successful. It also demonstrates that they take their personal development seriously and are willing to push themselves to be their best.
On the other hand, when athletes only work out when it's convenient, it tells me they lack commitment or motivation toward our program. It says they're unwilling to put in the extra effort or make sacrifices required for personal and team success.
Online training resources include:
Vertical jump workouts: https://www.reids-workouts.com
HITT workouts/ Jump Rope routines: @PhoenixNationFitness (YouTube jump rope channel)
During summer training, I also encourage my athletes to improve their mental toughness and leadership abilities by using a mix of materials such as books, articles, videos, webinars, and leadership content. By training their minds, they can develop the mental strength and resilience needed to handle challenges and pressures as student-athletes. This can help them learn stress-management strategies, build confidence, and stay focused in high-pressure situations. Taking in leadership content can also enhance their ability to communicate, collaborate and inspire, which can benefit them both on and off the court.
Some of my favorite content is produced by podcasters such as Ken Burke of Competing for Christ and Jon Gordon of Positive U. I also encourage books and audiobooks by Jon Gordon, Tony Dungy, and John C Maxwell. Online training videos are available through The Art of Coaching (not just for coaches) and Championship Productions.
In addition to physical training and mental toughness, I believe that taking care of one's spiritual health is just as important. That's why I encourage my athletes to take their mental training to another level by focusing on their spiritual well-being.
Starting each day by reading scripture or listening to a faith-based podcast, like the Bible in a Year podcast with Father Mike Schmitz, can help my athletes center themselves and feel more grounded throughout the day (Philippians 4: 6-7). By spending time with God through meditation and prayer, my athletes can reflect and gain perspective, which can help them better cope with the challenges of being a student-athlete.
Furthermore, prioritizing one's spiritual wellness can lead to a stronger sense of purpose and a greater appreciation for the opportunities afforded to them as athletes. It can also provide athletes with a sense of community and support by connecting with like-minded athletes who share similar beliefs (Hebrews 10: 24-25). Ultimately, taking care of their spiritual health can improve not just their athletic performance but also their overall well-being and happiness.
In wrapping up, the summer months are 100% critical for college volleyball players in preparing for the competitive fall season. Not only must they build up and maintain their physical condition by training hard and staying disciplined, but they must also cultivate the mental and spiritual fortitude needed to battle at a high level. The combination of physical, mental, and spiritual training during the summer months is central to the success of the fall. By embracing these challenges, athletes will be confident that their hard work will pay off as they work to reach their goals and achieve success on and off the court.